Head pain has many causes, so it’s natural to start to wonder what is causing your head starts to hurt. Thankfully, the vast majority of headaches can be attributed to minor issues and can be treated quickly.

In rare cases, headaches can indicate a serious issue that can be dangerous or even deadly. This is why it is always important to take severe or persistent head pain seriously.

Read on as the AFC Urgent Care NC team shares the details about headaches below.

What Causes a Headache?

Most headaches are caused by overactivity or disruption in the pain-sensitive parts of your brain and are called “primary headaches.” Migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches are all primary headaches and don’t indicate an underlying issue within the body.

The potentially dangerous type of headache is called a “secondary headache.” These headaches indicate a serious problem within your body like a blood clot, tumor or impending stroke. Usually this type of head pain is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, and it always indicates a medical emergency.

Additional Secondary Headache Symptoms

  • Sudden and severe pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever or stiff neck
  • Headaches after an injury or accident
  • Vision changes
  • Numbness or paralysis on the body

What Can a Doctor Do for a Headache?

Our team will evaluate you and take a medical history to determine whether the pain you are experiencing is chronic or new. Evaluating this information can help us determine whether you have a primary or secondary headache.

If it is a primary headache, we can offer some pain relief options, and we will discuss lifestyle changes or suggestions on what to do if it happens again at home. Secondary headaches typically require a hospital stay with tests like CT scans and MRIs to determine the extent of your condition. You may also be referred to a specialist for further treatment.

Treating a Primary Headache at Home

  • Drink water.
  • Get plenty of rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Take an OTC pain reliever or anti-inflammatory.
  • Drink a small amount of caffeine.

Headaches are something to always take seriously. If you are experiencing frequent headaches, stop by one of our AFC Urgent Care NC locations.